CARMEL, Ind. (WTHR) - A Carmel High School football player is back in the classroom after a devastating injury on the field.
It was the quick action of trainers on the sideline who quickly diagnosed the severity of Matthew Wolfe's injury. He rejoined his classmates Monday, for the first time since he was on the football field at Carmel High School September 9.
"Like getting hit by a truck," said Matthew. "I just remember running full speed and being on the ground instantly."
It was a little more than two weeks ago, that Matthew was playing free safety against Pike High School. He pursues the running back to the sideline, when he is blindsided by a Pike player blocking him off the play.
The injuries are life-threatening.
"I spent eight days in the hospital. The first three days I was in ICU critical care," said Matthew.
Doctors said Matthew's spleen was split in half, he suffered bruised lungs and a broken rib. His mom went down to the field to talk to those tending to her son.
"And he's like, 'Jackie we need to take him by ambulance, we're concerned about his spleen.' So they called it right away," said Matthew's mother, Jackie.
Athletic trainer Anna Foster was among the first to respond to Matthew who was on the ground in pain.
"You could tell from just the hit, that he just collapsed. It was almost like he blacked out. We knew exactly what was going on and we knew that we needed to get him off the field to get him transported," she said.
His family credits the trainers with making a lifesaving diagnosis. The trainers are among those assigned by the St. Vincent Sports Performance program.
"You know, they sat him down and started feeling where his pain was and they knew right away it was something serious," Jackie Wolfe said.
"The reason we are out there is for these types of injuries, and we knew that right away that regardless of all the other things we do behind the scenes that not a lot of people see, that's the purpose for us being out there," Foster said.
Matthew spent his 17th birthday in the hospital, where his teammates visited him to lift his spirits, and now he focuses on the future.
It will be six months before Matthew makes a full recovery, but thanks to the quick diagnosis he is looking forward to his senior season on this field next year.
Matthew also told us he was especially eager to return to class this week, since this Friday is Carmel's homecoming football game.